P. Adams Sitney

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P. Adams Sitney
Born (1944-08-09) August 9, 1944 (age 72)
New Haven, Connecticut[1]
Occupation Film historian

P. Adams Sitney (born August 9, 1944 in New Haven, Connecticut), is a historian of American avant-garde cinema.


Sitney attended Yale University. He co-founded the Anthology Film Archives in 1970 and, along with Jonas Mekas, Peter Kubelka, Ken Kelman, and James Broughton, served as one of the members of the Anthology Film Archives Essential Cinema[2] film selection committee. He is currently Professor of Visual Arts at the Lewis Center for the Arts at Princeton University.

Sitney was a fixture at New York University's doctoral program in the new Cinema Studies Department in 1970. Before moving to Princeton he also taught at The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art. He has been a major critical leader and intellectual supporter of the New American Cinema avant-garde movement.

Sitney is the Spring 2011 recipient of the Anna-Maria Kellen Berlin Prize from the American Academy in Berlin.[citation needed]


Sitney coined the concept of structural film, in a text published in Film Culture No. 47 (in the summer of 1969). In 1974, he wrote Visionary Film, the first major history of post-World War II American avant-garde film; revised editions of the book were published in 1979 and 2002. He is also the author of Modernist Montage: The Obscurity of Vision in Cinema and Literature (1992) and Vital Crises in Italian Cinema: Iconography, Stylistics, Politics (1995), Eyes Upside Down: Visionary filmmakers and the Heritage of Emerson (2008), The Cinema of Poetry (2015) and the editor of The Essential Cinema: Essays on the Films in the Collection of Anthology Film Archives (1975), Film Culture Reader (1970), The Avant-Garde Film: A Reader of Theory and Criticism (1987).[citation needed]

He was, during the sixties and the seventies, a major activist of American experimental film’s cause in the world, by writing, programming, lecturing and traveling in several countries to defend this cinema. Today, he is an iconic figure of modern avant-garde.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Drake, F. Thurston (19 October 2000). "Sitney's Take". The Daily Princetonian. Retrieved 29 June 2013. After the pleasantries and questions—'When and where were you born?' 'August 9, 1944, New Haven, [Connecticut]'—I tossed out what I thought would be a great question, a real fast ball. 
  2. ^ Everleth, Mike (3 May 2010). "Anthology Film Archives' Essential Cinema Repertory Collection". Underground Film News. Underground Film Journal. Retrieved 29 June 2013.